The City of Surrey and the B.C. government have reached a multi-million dollar deal to help offset the costs of the community’s transition to a municipal police force.

The agreement, announced Wednesday, could finally draw the curtain on an acrimonious and years-long political battle between the two governments over the fate of policing in the city.

Click to play video: 'Surrey Police Service unveils new cruisers'

Under the deal, the province will cover $150 million in transition costs, $30 million per year, to 2029. The province is promising up to another $100 million, $20 million per year, if Surrey Police Services salary costs top what RCMP wages would have been between 2029 and 2034.

The terms of the deal are the same as in an agreement Surrey rejected in April, according to Public Safety Minister and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth. At the time the province said it would still provide $150 million regardless. Just over a month later, the city lost its court challenge of the police transition.


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In signing the agreement, the city “fully supports the transition,” agrees it won’t need a separate police tax, and will provide space, funding and payroll for the SPS according to a media release from both governments.

“I look forward to working with the mayor and City of Surrey, the Surrey Police Service and the RCMP to complete this transition as quickly as possible while ensuring safety for Surrey residents,” Farnworth said.

Click to play video: 'Mayor Brenda Locke moving forward with transition from RCMP to Surrey Police Service'

Surrey Mayor Brenda Locke, who has fought the transition since her election in 2022 on a pledge to keep the RCMP, said the funds would help reduce its financial burden on taxpayers.

“As we go through this process, council will be constantly working in the best interests of Surrey taxpayers,” Locke said.

“City council fully recognizes the service of the RCMP in Surrey. We express our gratitude for everything Surrey RCMP has done to serve and protect our community for the past 70 years with their exemplary service.”

Surrey Police Chief Norm Lipinski hailed the deal.

“This agreement marks the beginning of a renewed sense of cooperation and collaboration on this project,” he said in a statement.

“We can now focus on our shared vision of providing a progressive, community-focused municipal police service for everyone who lives in, works in, and visits the City of Surrey.”

The deal will see Surrey’s police board reinstated by early 2025. The province suspended the board’s members and replaced them with a special representative in 2023 amid discord over the transition.

Click to play video: 'What comes next after court backs transition to Surrey Police Service'

Surrey is also appointing two policing experts, former police complaint commissioner Clayton Pecknold and retired RCMP superintendent and policing consultant Tonia Enger, to a joint implementation table along with representatives from the province and both police forces.

The SPS is slated to become Surrey’s police of jurisdiction in just over five months, on Nov. 29.

The force currently employs 431 sworn officers and staff and expects to have hired 526 officers by the end of the year, with a target of 2026 to complete the transition.